Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo Ergonomic Review

Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard Freestyle

Overall
No, it’s not broken. It’s the Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo, and it’s meant to be like that!

Some people are just never happy with their hand position and they want full flexibility of their keyboard placement. Some people like to have their keyboard a certain way for typing, and another way for gaming. For those people, we present the Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo.

Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo Features

This ergonomic keyboard is truly one of a kind as it is in two separate parts and completely split down the middle. This means that the user has complete control over where he wants to position his hands. The cable connecting the two halves is around 8 inches long, meaning that you’re able to have complete flexibility on their location.

The cynical side of me does seem to think that Kinesis (the manufacturer) is just trying to accommodate for all shapes and sizes and therefore it’s forgoing the investment in researching optimal injury reduction – instead leaving it in the hands (or wrists!) of the user. It’s totally fine by me, it just requires some research from the users on how exactly they should display the keyboard to be most efficient.

Other Features

The Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo can be purchased with additional kits to further extend or manipulate its functionality:

  • Ascent Kit. This can increase the angle of the keyboard vertically from the desk up to 90 degrees. (Imagine two bookends and then stick the keyboards on the outside edges).
  • VIP Kit. This includes a ‘tent’ base which fixes the angle of the keyboards to be raised in the middle, like more conventional ergonomic keyboards. It also includes a set of different wrist rests.
  • Tented Kit. This is the standalone “legs” that increase the angle gradually upwards in the middle of the keyboards, making the right board slope upwards on the left and the right board slope upwards on the right.
  • Incline Kit. This kit basically transforms the two separate keyboards into one fixed keyboard with a fixed base platform, thus forgoing the whole point and attraction to the moveable separate keyboard areas.

The Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo does not have a keypad, at all. If you frequently use the keypad then this may be an instant ‘no-deal’ for you as you’d have to buy a separate keypad assemble and move your hands from one to the other. Which, by the way, is a major no no in the ergonomics / repetitive injury world.

The awkward ALT keys can also be an issue. It is almost completely impossible (unless you have hands like a pianist) to press the ALT key without moving your entire hand. If you’re on a Mac and using the Mac equivalent then this could also be a deal breaker.

Conclusion

Being able to move the two sides of the Kinesis Keyboard independently makes this a very flexible ergonomic keyboard. With this level of flexibility and customisation to perfectly suit your desk, position and resting angles the Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo is one of the finest examples of ergonomics. Buying this keyboard will require you to actually do the research on how to use it properly. Unlike other models that are imposing you the design, you have full control and therefore it’s your job to know what’s best for your wrists.

My main concern was highlighted when I visited a friend a few months back and noticed he was using a Kinesis Keyboard Freestyle Solo with the two halves side by side, thus defeating the whole point. Once you have purchased this item, make sure you do your homework and find the perfect hand placement for your wrists. After all, this keyboard was made to be customized to the fullest – use this potential!

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